Aust stocks close stronger

Local market pulls back from highs, continues strong performance as banks rally.

The Australian stock market has pared early gains but continues to perform strongly as investors position for earnings reports from the big banks this week.

At the 1615 AEDT official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lifted 1.02% to 5,441.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 0.96%, at 5,437.3 points.

The benchmark earlier reached as high as 5,457.3 points in intra-day trade.

That is the highest point the benchmark index has hit since the week beginning June 9, 2008, during which it climbed to 5,573.4 points.

IG analyst Chris Weston said there has been good buying in all sectors, but particularly in financials, ahead of full-year results releases.

"There have been good flows into the ANZ bank today and the results could have ramifications for the broader market, given the earnings thematics are generally shared among the other big three," Mr Weston said.

"With ANZ at fair value, we will need to see a result that delivers, or profit taking will come into the banks.

"However, with three of the four big banks providing investors with dividend income in early November, it’s hard to see any major downside for these names (and thus the index) ahead of this event."

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